Second innings: A chat with Ronit Roy
If anyone can write a successful book on how to resurrect one’s career, actor Ronit Roy can be that person. A good-looking face with quite decent acting chops, he struggled to find his place in Bollywood, despite a good start with Jaan Tere Naam. He moved on to making his security agency the best in India. Television is where he found fame and name. He came back to movies with a bang – Vikramaditya Motwane’s Udaan got him acclaim and awards. He is now a regular face in movies and his show Adalat is getting him to all the best things possible. He was in town as a chief guest for The Citadel Extravaganza 2013, Mirachem Industries Mr and Miss Citadel Pune 2013. He speaks to us about his second innings and struggles.
Apart from your shows and movies, you are keeping quite a low profile these days, in terms of media presence. Any particular reason for this?
To be honest, I am a bit foolish in these regards. I have no PR working for me. My father told me one thing – show your work, not just talk. Don’t earn respect with words. Let people find respect for you. So I never felt I should be tomtoming about my work. I am working with great banners, who promote their work well. When the particular film or serial happens, I talk. I could have worked with Kathryn Bigelow on her last film but I had already given my dates to Karan Johar for his film. I did not feel the need to publicise these things. Also, I am a little unsocial, I like to be at home and spend time with my family.
Right now, we are also seeing you in just one television serial Adalat. Why are you keeping a low profile in terms of work?
Adalat is a full-time thing. And it is more difficult to shoot. It is a one hour show and takes two days to shoot. It is just like a feature film.
What is your approach towards acting different for films and television?
With television, you can get away with a lot of things. For films, extra detailing is needed. With Adalat, people notice if the story is well-written. We do not let it be mundane. Also, in films, you have to make the character more believable. I don’t consider myself as a good actor. I have good directors who know what they want.
Right now, I am doing a film with Anurag Kashyap called Ugly. I had called Anurag and told him I want to do a role. For around eight months, I did not hear a thing. Suddenly, he called up and told me the shoot is tomorrow. I thought someone will call me for fitting but no one called. I called Anurag and he told me to just land up for the shoot. I called up Vikramaditya Motwane on this behaviour and even he said Anurag is like that. He wants me to be an empty vessel from the very first scene to the last. This is how it is for me.
Do you really feel your struggle days are behind you?
Struggle comes in stages. Initially, it was to survive. Next, the struggle came for bringing good work. Then it was struggling to get more of the good work. Then, it is to maintain that work.
What kind of roles are you looking for?
I never look for anything. Though there is no PR, I have kept a manager. But I have come so for without one. My honesty and simplicity works for me. What I have learnt, it will last me for life.
What are your upcoming projects?
I am doing Boss, Ugly and a cameo in Karan Johar’s next film – 2 States. It is a borderline role and the content is scaring me. I do keep getting offers from time to time. With Adalat, we have tried to maintain quality. A cross-section of society watches it.